Best Massage Therapy Schools in Atlanta | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

At massage therapy schools in Atlanta Georgia, students receive education in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and massage therapy.

Students are also trained in traditional Swedish massage as a foundation for a variety of other body therapies. Licensing of massage therapists in the state is administered by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy.

Are There Massage Therapy Schools In Atlanta?

There are several massage therapy schools in Atlanta that are approved by state officials. Programs include classroom and laboratory instruction as well as hands-on experience in student clinics or private institutions.

Training programs vary in the types of massage techniques they teach. Most schools offer certificates that usually take less than a year to complete.

Others offer specialist degrees that require additional coursework. Both types of programs allow graduates to apply for licenses.

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How Much Do Massage Therapy Schools Cost In Atlanta?

Massage schools in Atlanta will cost approximately $13,500. The registration fee covers tuition, books, consumables, technology fee, content fee and license fee. Eligible students can apply for Pell Grants and student loans from the federal government.

The time to complete this educational training ranges from 1 month to 1 year depending on the qualification, with an average completion time of 9 months.

The cost of attending massage school in Atlanta ranges from $8,000 to $17,000 depending on qualifications, with an average cost of $12,000.

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What Are The Requirements For Massage Therapy Schools In Atlanta?

Georgia requires that prospective massage therapists complete at least 500 hours of training at an approved massage school.

A massage therapy curriculum usually includes an introductory course as well as hands-on classes that cover various massage techniques. After successfully graduating from massage therapy school, prospective therapists must obtain a license before practicing.

Before applying for a license to practice massage therapy, students must pass the MBLEx exam administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards or the NCETMB/NCETM exams administered by the National Board for Certification in Massage and Bodywork Therapy.

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What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Atlanta?

Massage school in Atlanta

It is the oldest school of its kind in the state, having graduated more than 3,000 graduates since 1980.

The program “offers a full range of basic certificates.” Courses include Swedish and deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, reflexology and seated massage.

There is an on-site teaching clinic, and students do internships in government institutions. About 90 percent of graduates pass the MBLEx licensing test.

The ASM research team is collaborating with Emory University in a clinical trial to examine the biological benefits of massage in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and how Swedish massage can alleviate fatigue in cancer patients.


Elaine Sterling Institute

The 640-hour certificate program at this Atlanta school allows students to earn their certificates in seven to nine months.

Among the many massage techniques taught in the courses are Swedish, therapeutic, deep tissue, trigger point, sports, Thai, chair, clinical, prenatal and other specialty massages, as well as alternative medicine.

The curriculum also covers aromatherapy, body treatments, hydrotherapy, reflexology, shiatsu and neuromuscular therapy.

The school offers graduate students an International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) certification course in holistic massage and other advanced techniques.


 International School of Skin Nailcare & Massage Therapy

This private institution in Atlanta has a history of more than 35 years. Graduates receive certificates after completing 675 hours of study and training. The program lasts 27 weeks, with day and evening classes available.

Courses include history of massage, cells and tissues, massage equipment and products, Swedish massage, athletic/sports massage, deep tissue massage, shiatsu, and reflexology.

Students get hands-on experience treating the population in a clinic on campus. The school has a 100 percent acceptance rate, with about 50 students in the program each year.


Gwinnett College-Lilburn

Formerly known as Rising Spirits, this school was originally called the New Life Institute School of Massage Excellence. It later became known as Rising Spirits.

The massage therapy program, available at Gwinnett’s Sandy Hills and Lilburn campuses, awards Associate of Applied Science degrees. Students study methods of Swedish, deep tissue, chair and sports massage.

Other courses cover neuromuscular therapy, reflexology and success techniques. The program includes work experience in on-campus clinics where students provide treatment and therapy to the general public.


Augusta School of Massage

Taking approximately six months, this 600-hour certificate program at Evans offers full-time afternoon and evening hours. Classes start six times a year, no more than 25 students.

Students specialize in clinical and orthopedic massage therapy, myofascial release or neuromuscular therapy, and postural analysis during 125 hours of Allied Modalities classes.

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They perform a dozen massage and therapy techniques at the Tuscany Classic Italian Spa, on the top floor of the school’s picturesque stone building.


How Much Do Massage Therapists In Atlanta Earn?

The median annual salary for a practitioner in Atlanta, GA is approximately $38,000 (or over $18.25 an hour), which is less than the national average of nearly $42,000 per year (or approximately $20 an hour) .

The top 10 percent of earners earn more than $61,500 (or about $30) in the state, compared to more than $78,000 (or nearly $38) nationally.

For the lowest 10 percent, wages exceed $17,000 (or more than $8) in Georgia; and nearly $21,400 (or more than $10.25) nationally.

In 2016, there were 3,490 massage therapists in the state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number will increase to 4,470 by 2026. That would be a job growth rate of 28 percent — faster than the national average of 26 percent and higher than most other occupations.

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How Do I Become A Massage Therapist In Atlanta?

To become a massage therapist in Atlanta, a student must complete a school program that involves 500 or more hours of coursework and study.

The State Board requires that the schools be recognized by the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork Therapy and the Commission on Non-Public Postsecondary Education.

Training programs must include at least 440 hours of instruction, plus 50-60 hours of supervised clinical experience.

The board provides 125 hours of courses in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology; 200 hours of theory, technique and practice; 40 hours of pathology; 10 hours of ethics and business management; and six hours of ethics.

The remaining 125 or more hours are related to other subjects. Students should learn squeezing or gliding, tapping or percussion, petrissage or kneading, stretching, superficial warming, contraindications, modesty and draping, client data collection, and the therapeutic relationship.

After graduation, the next step is to register online with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).

Once approved, the candidate contacts Pearson VUE to schedule an exam at a testing center in Atlanta, Albany, Augusta, Dunwoody, Griffin, Macon, Marietta, Savannah, or Stockbridge.

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Best Paying Massage Therapy Jobs in Atlanta

Metropolis Atlanta, Sandy Springs and the Marietta area have the second highest employment of massage therapists in the country.

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Massage therapists treat people from all walks of life, including weekend or competitive athletes, home gardeners, stressed workers, and more. Seniors will also benefit from the increased flexibility and circulation that a skilled massage therapist can provide.

Massage therapists work with chiropractors, medical professionals, on cruise ships, resorts and spas, and on sports fields. Many have their own business and independently provide massage services.

As an Atlanta massage therapist, you can have a career that allows you to set your own hours and be your own boss. You can find satisfaction in helping people and directly impacting their ability to feel better and lead healthier lives.

Massage Therapy Schools In Atlanta FAQs

Are Massage Therapists In Demand In Atlanta?

As one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, massage therapists will be in high demand over the next decade. To meet the growing demand, there are many massage schools in Georgia that train people just like you every day. If you are looking for a career that helps people achieve health and wellness, massage therapy may be a great fit for you.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Massage Therapist In Atlanta?

500 hours of clinical massage training is required to obtain a massage therapist license in Georgia. To become licensed, students must pass the NCETMB/NCETM or MBLEx National Certification Examination in Massage Therapy and Bodywork.

What Is The Requirement For Massage Therapy License In Atlanta?

The state of Georgia requires all massage therapists to complete a 500-hour training program as part of qualifying for licensure. Once licensed, you will need to stay on top of the renewal process to continue operating legally.

What Do Massage Therapists in Georgia Do?

Massage therapists in Georgia perform therapeutic massage of the joints and soft tissues of their clients’ bodies. They help assess clients’ range of motion and muscle strength and develop therapy plans for clients. Massage therapy is a part of many physical rehabilitation programs and is useful in the treatment of many chronic conditions, including low back pain and arthritis.


Starting a career as a massage therapist can be a great path for a young student or a useful career change for an adult looking to finish or return to school. The possibilities continue to expand as massage therapy gains more acceptance in Western medicine.

In addition, massage therapists often enjoy the autonomy, dynamic work environment, and diverse clientele that their work often brings. Overall, massage therapy can be a rewarding career that brings healing and improves the quality of life for those served by massage therapists.



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